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SDHSAA moves to 5 class system for football; faces push back

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)- South Dakota high school football made the move from a seven class system to five classes. 

The cutback is focused on trying to eliminate lopsided playoff scores. 

“There have been a number of teams that have made the playoffs across all of our classes, every classification had teams with 0, 1, 2, or 3 wins making the playoffs. So I think that was part of the drive, we’ve seen some really uncompetitive playoff contests and we’re just trying to condense it a little bit so we make the playoffs a little more competitive throughout all the rounds,” Swartos said. 

The football advisory committee came up with an idea of what the new classes could look like.

“I believe it was ten up top in what would be 11 ‘AA’ and then the next 16 teams, and then the remainder of 11-man would be 11 ‘B’. 9-man would split into two classes equally,” Daniel Swartos said.

That plan may be similar to the final plan, but the advisory committee had some push back which means the committee will need to work on a different plan.

”We’ve been around since 1905, so 115 years and I don’t know that there’s been a scenario where we reduce the number of classes in any sport, and 115 years. So anytime you’re looking at reducing classes and doing something drastic, there’s going to be some push back,” Swartos said. 

The advisory committee and state board has until January to come up with the new regulations as the five class system doesn’t go into effect until 2021.

As state and local governments look to reopen, there is hope for a fall sports season. 

”Cautiously optimistic. I think we would all love that, however our first responsibility has to be the safety of the kids and of the fans. Right now we’re cautiously optimistic for that to happen,” Swartos said.

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